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Camel Pose

Camel Pose

Camel pose is typically used in a Vinyasa-style class, but it can also be yin! I recommend using this pose with caution as it is an intense backbend and very active. This also depends on how you get into the pose, with two options detailed below. I very rarely sequence camel but occasionally use it in my own practice.

Get into Camel Pose Step-by-Step

Option 1:

  1. Begin sitting on your shins and heels.
  2. Come to stand on your knees, toes tucked behind you.
  3. Draw your hands to your lower back with fingers pointing down like you’re about to slide your hands into your back jean pockets.
  4. Lift through the crown of your head and heart.
  5. Begin to draw your hips forward by engaging through your glutes.
  6. Start to arch your back as you continue to shift your hips forward. Reach your heart upwards. Gaze looks up.
  7. Option to keep your hands on your back, or reach back one hand at a time for your heels. Your head may fall back, looking behind you, or stay forward.

Option 2:

  1. Begin sitting on your heels and shins.
  2. Place your hands behind you and lift your hips upwards.
  3. Walk your hands as close as feels comfortable to your heels. Your hands may come to rest on your heels.
  4. Your head may be released back.


  • Physical: A deep stretch for the thighs and hip flexors. High intensity for the low back arch and opens the shoulders.
  • Energetic: Six meridians are stimulated in this pose! From the compression of the lower back, the Urinary Bladder, and Kidney meridians. From the heart and shoulder opening, the Heart and Lung meridians. From the thighs, hip flexor, and stomach the Spleen and Stomach meridians.
  • Emotional & Mental: A deep heart opener like Camel plays into the heart chakra emotions of compassion, hope, and peace. This pose is also said to promote creative energy, largely due to the throat chakra activation when the head is tilted back.


  • Avoid this pose if you have any spinal pain or injuries.
  • Be cautious when using this pose with the elderly.
  • The chin should be kept to the chest if there are any issues with the cervical spine.


  • Hands may rest on your lower back, on the floor, or on your heels with toes tucked or untucked.
  • Your chin may be tucked towards your chest or released back.
  • Place a folded blanket or fold your mat under your knees.
Camel with chin to chest
Less intense variation of camel

Get Out of the Pose

Option 1:

  1. Tuck your chin into your chest.
  2. Release your hands back to your lower back.
  3. Lift upward through your chest and the crown of your head until your shoulders are stacked back over your hips.
  4. Untuck your toes and sit back on your heels.

Option 2:

  1. Tuck your chin into your chest.
  2. Walk your hands back until your sit bones can lower back to your heels.
  3. Bring your hands back by your sides or in your lap.

Counter Poses

How Long to Hold Camel?

  • 1-3 minutes.
  • This is a very active pose, use caution when holding for 2-3 minutes.

Practice Camel Pose in a Class

Back to yin yoga pose directory.

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